Whimpered thank you’s are not enough

I really need to get blinds for my office.

Thank God I have them in the master bath.

Two words. Dance party.

Sunday morning. Need to work today, after working yesterday too.

Would be so easy to bemoan what is going on in our lives. Chemo soon to start for my sons’ father.

But I’ve got this.

This is not my first rodeo. If you’re a new visitor to my blog, background here on the last five years. Whew. Still standing, all of us.

Stage four cancer is nothing to celebrate. And yet, I know there is muck to come. Hard times. Crying in the car, at unexpected inconvenient moments.

Here’s the cruel and insanely sane bit: life goes on. No matter what is happening to you, to your loved ones or around you—life continues to be served up on a plate to you each and every day.

When my mother was in hospice, the world felt too loud to me. Too busy. Too cheery. I felt something should stop.

It doesn’t.

So this morning was a choice. Wake up kvetching about the hand life has dealt us, a day full of work, dinner to make.

Or host a dance party for one.

I dragged my tired behind downstairs, got my portable speaker, plugged in the iPhone playlist and away we went. In the shower, Nana Mouskouri helped me open my eyes with the beautiful aria La Habanera from Carmen. Luke Bryan tired of the mellow vibe and urged me to shake it for him. I did. Furiously, as I sang at the top of my lungs. (See above comment re: blinds in the master bath). Then Flo Rida chimed in and we got “Low.”

Aretha and I belted out “Chain of Fools” as I dried my hair. And I commiserated with Three Dog Night about never having been to Spain. I disagreed vehemently with Dean Martin as he crooned to me that “You’re Nobody Until Somebody Loves You.” Tsk tsk, Dean. Such a message.

It was all well and good until I ran down to my office in my bathrobe to grab my reading glasses, still shaking it to” Laffy Taffy.” Which is when I glanced up from my desk to see my next door neighbor, just back from a prolonged trip to Georgia, was home. Not only home, but outside in his driveway, smiling and waving as I shook my booty. I may have missed the blinds but at least I had donned the bathrobe.

I smiled. And waved back. I mean, what else to do, right?

Here’s the deal: Life continues to throw us curveballs. But in the moment—just this moment, I can celebrate. The New York Times, written by some of the most talented writing minds out there, awaits in the driveway. So does a cup of coffee. I’m currently working on a project with two of the brightest, nicest veterans of journalism. I’m honored and continue to learn. My dog lies at my feet as I write, looking at me adoringly, despite watching me shake my booty, extra 12 pounds and all. She even seems to forgive my off-key singing at the top of my lungs.

Among the other bits I feel thankful for—celebrating a good friend’s birthday this weekend, one who is done with cancer, chemo and surgery. She is ready to begin anew. Seeing another sweet old friend I get to see far less often than I’d like as she came to town for a conference this weekend.  The mattress soon to be delivered that will replace the 17-year-old rock I’ve been sleeping on. The ability to connect with all of you through the written word in this strange ether we call the Internet.

I’ve done the whimpered “thank you” bit. I have sat in my car, outside of hospice more than once, and fallen apart. Trying to thank God for the good and the seeming bad—knowing it’s a mix I may not understand in the moment. Barely able to get the words out because it hurt so much.

I’m done plunging to the depths. I’ve done that bit. No more whimpered thank you’s. They are not enough. They mean I’m succumbing to viewing things with my tiny human brain, instead of from a broader, divine perspective.

No matter what is happening, my thank you will be clear and resounding. Accompanied by dancing, blinds or no blinds.

How I go through this—how we all go through the tough bits—is a choice. I know the pain will come. But this morning, the joy did.

And my thank you resounds off the shower walls.





44 Comments Add yours

  1. Everyone has to keep moving. Else what do you do when the world breaks down in front of you?

    1. candidkay says:

      Which it seems to be doing all too often lately! Hoping for some sanity in world affairs.

      1. definition of sanity is changing. Adapting is the one of the options, the easier one

  2. So sorry to hear this about your ex; your kids much be very anxious. No matter how angry and bitter one can be after an unwanted divorce, I doubt any of us would wish that upon our ex husbands.

    1. candidkay says:

      I completely agree. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Having watched friends and family go through it, I think no matter how much you have around you in terms of love and support it can be a very lonely journey.

  3. Keeping you all in my prayers.

  4. Kat says:

    I agree, life goes on. Interestingly, I attended a 2-day course recently about “Winning Emotional Intelligence” and how ironic all that I had learnt went out of the window as my boyfriend (now ex) and I argued and in the process, exchanged harsh words. That challenge is no comparison to your current situation but what I want to share is, I like that you chose the attitude to be positive, to move on and to adapt with the changes. The key point we learnt in the course “I Choose To” resonated with me, and felt that when reading your post 🙂 And as for the ex, well, let’s just say, I made the right decision to stop a certain pattern that was happening too long in my life, I needed to stop that karma.

    1. candidkay says:

      Kudos to you for making the tough choice. “Getting it” intellectually is one thing–feeling it and making it happen an entirely different and harder thing.

  5. Aunt Beulah says:

    The title intrigued me, and then the writing and the message caught me. Such wisdom you dispense on a regular basis; I feel like my understandings of my fellow humans are enriched and expanded when I read your blog, Kay.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, thank you! Every time I think someone couldn’t say something nicer, y’all surprise me:). I appreciate the kind words and it matters so much that my words have an impact–so truly, you couldn’t have said a nicer thing. We’re all here to help, right?

  6. Oh, yes! Dance on, sister.

    1. candidkay says:

      Am counting on you joining me from afar:).

  7. Elyse says:

    Yup. No matter how much things hurt, sometimes all you can do is dance. It keeps the courage up.

    1. candidkay says:

      And the weight down:).

  8. Loved this so much and as a closet dancer, I’ve had the same embarrassing moments. Especially if I’m in my underwear belting out Aretha (yes, you’re not alone there) and one of my sons walks in. Awkward on so many levels. Great post.

    1. candidkay says:

      Good to know, soul sister:). My sons complain most about my spatula singing when making weekend pancake breakfasts. Isn’t it great to be embarrassing? 🙂

  9. George says:

    Sometimes the only thing you can do is dance . As long as life allows us to do it, then why not. One foot in front of the other. Just don’t forget the bathrobe or your neighbor will be inviting his friends over and charging admission…:)

    1. candidkay says:

      LOL. That’s it. I’m buying an even thicker bathrobe:).

  10. carry on singing off key and shaking that bootee , I do that to still ….. to Rod Stewart, Bette Midler and Pavarotti’s Nessum dorma

    1. candidkay says:

      I love the eclectic mix! Don’t try to put US in a box, eh? 🙂

  11. mentalbreakinprogress says:

    (((Hugs))) You are one strong woman my blogging friend 🙂 So glad I was able to connect with you and I am sending tons of good vibes your way ❤

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! Truly appreciate the kind thoughts and the guest blogging. Multiplying those good vibes and sending them right back your way:).

  12. lisa74 says:

    I think WordPress needs to start having a “love” option because this post I loved. I use the curveball metaphor all the time with the teens I see who are dealing with depression…

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! I’m glad this one struck you. Curveballs sound manageable, which is why I like the metaphor. It sure beats catastrophizing . . .

  13. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and get through one day at a time, sometimes you can dance – it’s great that you can dance 🙂

  14. You are my hero today! Music helps me make it through, too. My thoughts are with your ex and all of you as he goes through what he needs to go through. I’m glad for you that you were wearing a robe when you neighbor got an eyeful! Living in the country, we have no neighbor who can see in our windows, but I was caught by surprise today by a few deer walking by.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m betting the deer did not wave and smile :-). Thank you for your kind words.

  15. Yes, those moments are to be cherished. Like admiring the rose that finally blooms in your garden Kristine. You are that rose…cherish that too, for within that beautiful creation, and through this journey, will be a blossom like no other.
    It will be painful, fearful and even a little crazy…but it will do something that no other journey can….allow you to get closer within, and in doing so, closer to others because of it.
    Speak truly what you feel inside, to your previous husband as well, as it will give him more peace than you know to really understand those unspoken words that you both have. It will allow more love of self, to you both, because those words from the heart give much love of self in expressing them, and in hearing someone speak from that truth inside, it allows others to ‘know’ how you feel towards them because of that. No more respect and love can be given from those moments of truth, and a peace like no other.
    And above all else…it will heal. The past, the present, and your future. No power is greater that the truth spoken with love.
    Cherish that rose Kristine, it is the only one of its kind, and within is a beauty like no other. By looking after that, you will sing and dance because you begin to understand and appreciate your journey, and others can’t help but admire that beauty as well, whether in the next door’s driveway or ‘out there’ on stage for the world 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      I love the metaphor–that we are all blooming at our own rates, with our own colors and designs. You never fail to put it eloquently, Mr. Lanesbury. Thank you for your kind words and thoughtful commentary!

  16. When life gets tough, celebrating the beauty of a single day can work wonders. Yes, life goes on.

  17. This is great Kristine! Your sense of balance and humor is good for us all! I’m sure your neighbor will be hoping for more of your spontaneous dance offs! Everyday is a new day to begin again ❤️❤️❤️

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh boy. I sure hope he doesn’t look for more:). Blinds. Blinds. Blinds.

  18. Judy says:

    THANK YOU! 😉

  19. Dancing brings Joy 🙂 I have had a horribly stressful week. Your post made me smile. Thanks! Carmela

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, you nailed it. How could dancing not bring joy, right? I am sorry for the stressful week. I hope you get your own dance party to counteract it . . .

  20. Anne says:

    Keep singing & shaking it girl – make life a musical journey

  21. Amy says:

    Yes, yes, YES, to all you’ve shared here -particularly the singing full throttle in the shower and shimmying through the house bit! All flags waving for you and with you, my amazing, wonderful, indomitable, beautiful friend! I, too, have had to pick my perspective when grief has come to hang its wreath on my door, and many is the time I’ve chosen joy in spite of overwhelming circumstances. To dance in times of happiness is beautiful; to dance in times of sorrow is transcendent.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, you always put it so beautifully. I’m all for transcendence–and I know you’re a master of it. I am sure my dancing is in part because of support like that you offer, friend! XXOO

  22. reocochran says:

    The songs you listen to are some of my favorites! I saw Three Dog Night at our local fairgrounds in the 90’s and definitely like their silly song “Joy to the World” ( the line about “fishies in the deep blue sea” brings me smiles!) Hope ALL goes well with your son’s father. If my children’s Dad got sick it would be very upsetting to me. Met him literally the first day of college. Kind of like a vast friend. . . take care and have a serene and splendid day!

    1. candidkay says:

      I see a need for your own shower dance party–Three Dog Night and all:). Thank you for the kind words and for reading yet again! I truly appreciate it.

  23. Very well said, my dear. And I’m sure glad you still stop to shake your booty. Gotta keep singing and dancing.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Cynthia:). I am hoping that shaking will help me drop that extra 12 pounds . . .

      1. My best wishes. I went on a diet in February and gained 6 pounds. OK, you can stop laughing now….

      2. candidkay says:

        Oh, my first good laugh of the day! Thank you:).

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